Animals get their energy from the food they eat. Animals rely on other living things for food. Some animals eat plants, while others eat other animals. This passage of energy from the sun to plants, from animals to other animals is called the food chain.
Here, herbivores are known as primary consumers and carnivores are secondary consumers. The second trophic level includes organisms that feed on producers. Therefore, primary consumers or herbivores are organisms of the second trophic level. In nature, short-term survival depends mainly on the body finding enough food for its needs and avoiding becoming dinner for something else.
Animals will choose and prefer foods that are easy to catch, tasty and of an appropriate size to eat. Food should provide more energy than is spent hunting, catching and feeding it. For example, a lion eats large prey, such as zebras or young elephants, not ants, while a spider can eat small prey, such as flies. food chains A food chain is a simple and graphic way of showing a food relationship between organisms.
It shows how energy and nutrients are transferred from (producing) plants to herbivores and carnivores and to decomposers. All food chains start with one producer. The arrows in the food chain below show the direction in which energy and nutrients flow, that is,. The arrow always points from the food to the one who eats.
It produces sugars using carbon dioxide, water and sunlight, and then uses other minerals in the soil to convert them into proteins and other organic substances. The first consumer is always a herbivore (in this case, the grasshopper) and is called a first-order consumer, and the succeeding members of the food chain are called second, third and fourth order consumers (field mouse, snake, owl). Affecting the food chain Improving environmental conditions (more rain, adding fertilizers, fencing kangaroos, etc.) will increase the amount of grass, providing food for more grasshoppers and, therefore, more food for all the chain's top consumers. Conversely, a mouse eradication program would also reduce snake and owl populations, unless they have alternative food sources.
Any break in the food chain will have repercussions at all upper levels of the food chain (for example, starvation) and will result in more people at the lower levels of the chain (because they are not consumed). Energy in the food chain At every level of the food chain, the body's vital functions consume energy, such as growing, moving, etc. Ultimately, this energy is lost as heat to the environment, meaning that organisms at the next level of the food chain cannot use it. Because of this progressive loss of energy, food chains rarely have more than 6 members.
Consuming products such as cereals, fruits and vegetables wastes less energy than consuming consumer products such as meat, fish and eggs. Therefore, in situations of famine in the third world, eating meat is a luxury. food networks In nature, food relationships are more complex. Most consumers consume several different foods and, in turn, are consumed by many different higher-order consumers.
About 50% of the energy (possibly up to 90%) in food is lost at each trophic level when an organism is ingested, making it less efficient to be a higher-order consumer than a primary consumer. The food chain is a linear sequence of organisms in which nutrients and energy are transferred from one organism to another. Environmentalists have formulated and tested hypotheses about the nature of ecological patterns associated with the length of the food chain, such as the increase in length with the size of the ecosystem, the reduction of energy at each successive level, or the assertion that long food chains are unstable. The length of the food chain is important because the amount of energy transferred decreases as the trophic level increases; usually, only ten percent of the total energy from one trophic level goes to the next, since the rest is used in the metabolic process.
The average chain length of an entire network is the arithmetic average of the lengths of all the chains in the food chain. Food chains were first introduced by the Arab scientist and philosopher Al-Jahiz in the tenth century and were later popularized in a book published in 1927 by Charles Elton, who also introduced the concept of a food web. In a food chain, an organism eats a single item, while in a food web, an organism consumes several items. Food chains are directional pathways of trophic energy or, equivalently, sequences of links that begin with basal species, such as producing species or fine organic matter, and end in consumer organisms.
Since autotrophs are the basis of all Earth's ecosystems, most environmental ecosystems follow this type of food chain. Chemosynthetic bacteria and archaea use hydrogen sulfide and methane from hydrothermal vents and cold seeps as an energy source (just like plants use sunlight) to produce carbohydrates; they form the basis of the food chain. . .